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By DRF Staff
|Reed Palmer Photography|
By Dave Litfin
Classy and consistent, he has never been out of the money in seven career starts at five tracks at five distances. The Preakness will be his third start back from a layoff, and he has a forward-moving Beyer Speed Figure line after consecutive tops in the Sunland Park Derby and Jerome. Considering it was his first start in four months, his Sunland Park Derby was a good effort. Though he had sufficient earnings to make the Kentucky Derby field after that, his connections felt he wasn’t ready for the race and decided to use the Jerome as a bridge to the Preakness. In the Jerome, Astrology was close up in third down the backstretch, lost ground on the turn, and finished well enough to edge stablemate Justin Phillip for second. "I thought he ran great," said jockey Mike Smith, who was aboard for the first time. "It's the kind of race where I look forward to the next one."
Sent to Southern California for the winter, Astrology got sick upon his arrival and was set back for about a month.
Along with prospective starters Flashpoint, Mr. Commons, and Sway Away, he is among four Preakness hopefuls yet to win beyond a mile. He was outfinished at odds-on in the 1 1/16-mile Kentucky Jockey Club and made the lead in the stretch of the 1 1/8-mile Sunland Park Derby before being run down by Twice the Appeal, who was subsequently a distant 10th in the Kentucky Derby.
Astrology’s two most accomplished siblings were strictly sprinters, including the early-maturing juvenile stakes winner Lunarpal.
After being favored in all five starts as a 2-year-old and going off in the 5-2 neighborhood in both of his starts this year, his price will be considerably higher in the Preakness. Whether 8-1 or so makes him a worthwhile wager is open to discussion.
By Dan Illman
A.P. Indy won the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes at 1 1/2 miles and the Breeders' Cup Classic at 1 1/4 miles en route to being named Horse of the Year as a 3-year-old of 1992. A son of Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew, A.P. Indy is consistently among the leading stallions with champions Mineshaft, Rags to Riches, and Tempera among his top progeny.
A.P. Indy has crossed extremely well with Quiet American mares. Bernardini, champion 3-year-old and the winner of the Preakness, Travers, and Jockey Club Gold Cup, is out of a mare by Quiet American. Also benefiting from that breeding "nick" is Dance Quietly, who scored in the 2011 Busanda Stakes at 1 Mile and 70 Yards over the Aqueduct inner track.
Astrology is a half-brother to several stakes performers. Lunarpal won the first four starts of his career at two, including a pair of Grade 3 stakes races, but he never started in a route. Lunargal won the Serena's Song Stakes by 5 1/2 lengths at Zia Park at 5 1/2 furlongs, but she never went longer than six furlongs. Lunarlady took the Prairie Meadows Debutante at two going six furlongs. Like Lunarpal and Lunargal, she never went a distance of ground with her longest start (and win) occurring at 6 1/2 furlongs.
The dam's only win came in a 5 1/2 furlong turf race at Fair Grounds. She finished seventh, beaten nine lengths in her only route start. The third dam was stakes-placed.
While A.P. Indy should give Astrology plenty of stamina, it must be noted that the recent female family is full of speed influences. Astrology may be at his best at distances up to nine furlongs, but that last panel isn't out of the question considering the potent A.P. Indy - Quiet American breeding cross.
- 1.Posted 12/04/2013 11:20AM
- 2.Posted 12/03/2013 03:13PM
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- 5.Posted 12/02/2013 02:02PM